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Neptunes thrive to take pole position

After Sliema’s failure to have the better of Sirens on Tuesday, Neptunes Grimaldi were odds on favourites to beat Valletta McDonald’s and in so doing take sole leadership of the BOV Premier League at the end of the first round.

The Balluta Bay Reds obliged with a resounding 16-9 victory which was wrapped up very early in the game.

Their disciplined play, based on a condensed and well-knit rearguard and brisk shifting of the ball when in possession, did the trick.

This was also evident on extra-man sets where they had a seven on eight success ratio.

There was no answer from their resigned opponents.

It was a breezing win propelled by the all-purpose Romanian left-hander Cosmin Radu, scorer of six goals, and Neptunes’ other goal-machine Steve Camilleri who yesterday helped himself to a nap-hand.

Meanwhile, coach Zoran Maslovar, who is extracting the best from his limited squad, started rotating his substitutes as early as the second session at the end of which Neptunes put the game to bed thanks to a 10-2 scoreline.

Valletta had been completely dismantled and unable to steady themselves for a pot at goal.

The lead was extended to 15-4 into the last quarter and that was the signal for all the inexperienced Neptunes tailenders to get a taste of the water.

As a result, Valletta were able to reduce the huge deficit when winning the last part of the game 5-1.

In the opening match, Ta’ Xbiex Amigos had the better of Otters Nivea when winning 11-9, a result which consolidated their third position in the First Division.

Summaries

Neptunes 16
Valletta 9

(4-2, 6-0, 5-2, 1-5)

Neptunes: A. Borg Cole, N. Lanzon 2, C. Radu 6, M. Cutajar, T. Agius, M. Lanzon, S. Camilleri 5, J. Camilleri 1, J. Abela 2, M. Zammit, B. Lanzon, M. Azzopardi, M. Castillo.

Valletta: R. Sciortino, J. Spiteri Staines, M. Rizzo, A. Mifsud, R. Mock, D. Paolella, N. Bonello Ghio, M. Cordina, C. Zammit 1, D. Kholod 4, A. Zarb Cousin, M. Spiteri Staines 4.

Referees: P. Balzan, A. Roberti.

Ta’ Xbiex 11
Otters 9

(5-0, 1-3, 2-3, 3-3)

Ta’ Xbiex Amigos: J. Micallef, A. Maklari, A. Camenzuli, A. Sammut, E. Meli 4, K. Mock, M. Mifsud 2, D. Schembri, G. Attard, D. Fenech, R. Attard 3, J. Zerafa Gregory 2, J. Tanti.

Otters Nivea: R. Bonnici, M. Borg Millo 1, R. Grego, L. Hyzler 2, K. Scicluna, D. Dimech, G. Mizzi 2, M. Jelaka 3, L. Peric, G. Debono, M. Borg, Y. Gauci 1, M. Xerri.

Referees: S. Licari, M. Minelli.

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